What does ad relevancy mean in Google AdWords?

A simple explanation of ad relevancy in Google AdWords

In simple terms, ad relevancy analyses how well your keyword matches the ads you’ve created.

Why does relevancy matter to Google?

To remain the number one search engine globally, Google must strike a balance.

On the one hand, Google as a search engine is free at the point of use. Over the last two decades (Google turned 20 this year), it has become such a valuable resource to us that few of us can remember life as it was, pre-Google.

In return for the use of their search engine, we provide Google with more and more information about our interests, preferences and search behaviour. It earns its money from advertising to us.

So, to ensure that the system functions smoothly, Google has had to develop its very own automated quality assurance process to ensure that advertising is relevant and valuable to users. That’s where ad relevancy and Quality Score come in.

How is ad relevancy in Google AdWords measured?

Google highlights, having an average or above average score is excellent. In Google’s eyes, it means that there are no issues with the ad relevancy.

A below average score, on the other hand, may mean a few things. Either your ad is too broad, your keyword is irrelevant to the ad you’ve created, or you’re trying to cover too many specific topics.

Ad relevancy has three gradings – above average, average and below average.

Ad Relevancy on Google AdWords in Action

Matt runs a small electronics shop in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. He may not be the cheapest but, his local customers love his business’ done-for-you service and local support, this is not something that his online competitors offer.

Over the last six months, he has seen an upturn in sales of Panasonic’s Viera TV’s in his shop. He believes Panasonic TVs are becoming more sought after and wants to make the most of the opportunity. But, he’s concerned that he’s missing out on attracting many more people who are local to him – individuals who may not visit the out-of-town shopping centre where he is based.

So, initially, Matt saw that there was a high search volume for “Panasonic Viera TV”. He was pleased about this, so decided to advertise. But, he decided he’d create an ad that covered what his best-selling products were (flat screen tv’s), so he could quickly use the ad for other brands and models, instead of one that’s specifically about Panasonic’s Viera TVs.


The ad he created initially:

Flat Screen TVs | Matt’s Electronics


Are you looking for Flat Screen TVs? We have

a range of Flat Screen TVs for you to test in-store.


What’s wrong with this in terms of ad relevancy in Google AdWords?

Would the ad seem relevant to the search “Panasonic Viera TVs”? Not in the slightest.

Here’s why.

As there is no mention of Panasonic Viera TVs in the ad copy (black text), the display URL (green text) or headline (blue text). So, if I were searching for Panasonic Viera’s specifically, I’d have no idea that Matt’s store stocked them.

As it is not particularly specific or relevant, it is likely to get a below average ad relevancy from Google.


If he wants to focus specifically on Panasonic Viera’s, this is what he should do.

Panasonic Viera TVs | Matt’s Electronics


Are you looking for a Panasonic Viera TV? We have a

wide range of Panasonic Viera TVs for you to test in-store.


Matt could also add callout extensions, price extensions, call extensions, reviews and site links to improve his ad. 

For more advice on Google AdWords and how to improve your performance, contact us.

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